GET TO KNOW: TYLER BADAMO
When Tyler Badamo stepped foot onto the field at MCU Park as a senior in high school, he had no idea that the next time he entered the ballpark he would be bearing a white jersey with CYCLONES across the chest, and calling it his new home.
This Mount Sinai native not only came to Cyclones games as a kid, but also played at the ballpark in the Best of Long Island versus Team USA game during his last year of high school. He returns to Brooklyn as the starting pitcher in the Cyclones’ season opener this Friday against the Staten Island Yankees.
“It’s nice to be on the other side of it,” Badamo said. “It’s a nice change of pace actually being the home field and what not. Being a New Yorker in New York is nice.”
Although he remains to be very focused and in control, don’t expect to see Badamo isolated in the dugout or silently warming up prior to the game—more likely you will be able to hear his laughter from the stands as he jokes around with teammates just as he would on any other day. For the Dowling College graduate, staying relaxed and loose is the key to a good day on the mound.
“I’ve had a routine pretty much set since my freshman year and I’m trying to stick to it as best I can. You know, I stay pretty calm, I’m very relaxed the day I pitch. I’m not that uptight pitcher that puts on headphones and doesn’t talk to anybody—I’m goofing around in the locker room, I’m playing ping pong, I’m doing all the stuff that you’d normally do just to stay relaxed and not really focus on the stress and what not of what’s coming up.”
Badamo learned early on in his baseball career that high tension while throwing does not yield productive results. Fortunately, he figured out that staying calm not only allowed for a more positive mindset, but also vastly superior results. Adjusting to this realization has paved the way for Badamo to end up where he is today as Brooklyn’s ace.
At 6-2, 215 pounds, the right-hander comes off of an All-American senior season at Dowling where he posted a 0.83 ERA, which ranked second best in all of Division II, and had 129 strikeouts in 108 and 1/3 innings. He averaged 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings, allowing opposing hitters a mere .197 average and five extra-base hits.
Badamo hopes to locate his best stuff this weekend, but he is particularly keen on his change-up. Although it wasn’t something he threw during his college years, after spending time in the Gulf Coast League and learning more, it became a pitch that he came to heavily rely on during the spring. Badamo is confident that if he can locate his change-up, it will be a successful weekend at MCU Park.
As opening day nears, Badamo is eager to start the season at the same place he remembers so fondly from his childhood. Though many years may have passed, the atmosphere in Brooklyn is indisputably memorable.
“I expect to see a lot of navy blue… And hopefully some good baseball.”
-- Kaylee Pofahl for BC.com